3 MAP Sensor Cleaning Steps

A bottle of cleaner and a clean, dry rag.
What You'll Need
Owner’s manual
Small screwdriver
Electric parts cleaner
Clean rag
Cling wipe

The MAF sensor, or Mass airflow Sensor, in your car, is used to help monitor and provide information for the electronic control unit. Over time, it is likely that the MAP sensor will become dusty or contaminated with debris, which may cause it to not function as well as it should. This sensor is important to the car and should be maintained accordingly. Here are a few steps that can help you to clean the MAP sensor in your own car.

Step 1 - Gain Access

Before you can clean the sensor, you have to know where it is actually located. If you haven't worked with cars, or aren't aware of where it may be, you can consult your owner’s manual; most of the time, though, you can just open your hood and find it easily. They are located near the intake manifold on most cars. Check under the wiring harness for the engine for a clearer view if you are having trouble seeing it. Releasing this wiring harness will give you more room to work on the MAP sensor.

Step 2 - Remove Plug

Once you locate the sensor, you need to remove the plug from it so that you don't hurt yourself or do any damage to the car or the MAF sensor in any way. First, make sure that the car is off, and that the keys are out of the switch. Next, squeeze the tab that keeps the MAF sensor plugged in, and release it. This may be a little difficult to find, but locate the cord and you can run to the end to where it is connected to release it. Refer back to the manual if you are still having trouble locating this tab. Once you unplug it, use a screw driver to take off any screws that are holding it in place. You will likely need a smaller screwdriver to accomplish this.

Step 3 - Use Electric Parts Cleaner

Electric parts cleaner is the best kind of cleaner to use for this project. You will be able to get your MAP sensor clean without worrying about doing any damage to it. It is available at most auto or hardware stores or online, and it is usually inexpensive and easy to use.

Move the MAF sensor onto its front on a level surface so that the actual sensor end is exposed to clean. Then, all you need to do is spray the cleaner into a clean rag and wipe off the MAF sensor carefully. It is important that you spray into a rag first and not directly onto the sensor. You can also use a cling wipe or cloth to try to get the dust off without having to actually spray it or get it wet. Once you are finished cleaning, put it back, plug it back in, and close up the hood.